Changes at Yahoo!

by Richard Zwicky

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This article from The Mender (Issue 17),
Metamend's Web Site Optimization and Marketing Newsletter.


For as long as I can remember, people have complained about Yahoo! The complaints range from getting listed in the first place, to how they are displayed once they are indexed. Recently, Yahoo! changed three parts of its algorithms. This change is important, and strongly affects how your site will perform with regards to Yahoo traffic. The changes will affect how any site is listed within their directory listings, and also search engine, (Google), listings.

The biggest change is that Yahoo! has done away with displaying results alphabetically. Now results will display more like a search engine, using relevance based on a specific set of algorithmic factors as the measuring stick. What this means is keywords, and their proper placement and usage are more important than ever. Proper response seems to be weighted with an emphasis on keywords that are properly used in the title, description, URL, and possibly in the keywords tag. However, there is some debate as to whether the algorithm is also measuring textual content.

What this means is for the first time with Yahoo!, it matters where you put your keywords. It appears from our testing that having your keywords in your URL is being measured, it remains to be fully verified, but it appears that you can even gain some importance by using hyphens to separate keywords for better results. For example, theballoonshop.com would not list as well as the-balloon-shop.com, if all other factors in the meta data were equal.

What does this mean for you if you are a Metamend client? Well, except for your URL, which we do not control, we have already made any adaptations necessary to ensure your site is being properly seen, if it is listed on Yahoo! We do not submit to Yahoo!, but we do submit to Google, which powers the web search end of Yahoo! listings. If you are in the Yahoo! directory, and want to be, it is now a $299.00 USD fee. Until they made this change I argued that it was not worth it. Now however, because they are using relevance to give you results to your queries, it is starting to make sense.

We will be offering, starting as soon as December 1, the ability for you to automatically have your pay for inclusion submissions managed and processed by Metamend, and the proper submission handled by us, for a variety of the Pay for Inclusion engines. The pay for inclusion engines of note are AltaVista, LookSmart, Inktomi, Fast, and Yahoo!. We will keep you advised as we add any of these engines, and what the pricing will be. LookSmart and Yahoo! are one time fees. Inktomi, and FAST are annual fees. AltaVista right now is on a six month fee schedule.

Other articles from this issue:
- Next Year's Budget
- Forest Through the Tress

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